Stephen Dobyns, author of 10 books of poetry and 20 novels, has been selected by the Journal of New Jersey Poets
as the first recipient of its New Jersey Poets Prize. Dobyns was presented the award on Friday, Oct. 1, at a celebration at County College of Morris (CCM) featuring readings by Dobyns of his prose and poetry. Dobyns also took part in a book signing following the event.
Dobyns was presented with the award for his poem "Napatree Point," published in the 2010 issue of the Journal of New Jersey Poets
, produced by CCM. Dobyns’ poem mourns the waning influence of poetry in the United States. The New Jersey Poets Prize was established earlier this year to commemorate the Journal of New Jersey Poets’
20 years of publication at CCM and to highlight the creative influence of New Jersey poets.
“In establishing this prize, the County College of Morris has created the foremost recognition a New Jersey poet can receive in this state other than being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry,” commented Sander Zulauf, professor of English and Philosophy and editor of the Journal of New Jersey Poets
. “The award is designed to provide better recognition of New Jersey poets and their poetic creativity.”
A New-Jersey born award-winning poet and author, Dobyns has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His work has been described as “masculine,” “witty” and “humane.” His poems have been anthologized in Best American Poems
and two of his short stories were chosen for Best American Short Stories
. Also included among his works are a collection of short stories, Eating Naked
, the novel The Wrestler’s Cruel Study
, and the thriller The Church of Dead Girls
, which has been optioned by HBO.
The annual CCM New Jersey Poets Prize is sponsored by the Journal of New Jersey Poets and the County College of Morris Foundation.